Why we practice in churches

Article by The Inner Peace Conference, 09 August 2016

Why we practice in churches

Churches seem to have a magical effect on people. Is it because of their ancient age? Is it because they’ve been standing in their place for centuries? Or because our minds are trying to get their heads around their architectural ingenuity? Is it the notion that they’re designed to channel universal wisdom? Or are we simply impressed that these magnificent structures are built and maintained by the hands of human beings?
 

We’ve selected some fun facts on the iconic churches and places that accommodate the Inner Peace Conference.
 

De Duif (The Dove)

De Duif functioned as the Catholic Sint-Willibrorduskerk from 1796 to 1974. It was built to replace an old hidden church on a street nearby; ‘Het Vrededuifje’ – The Dove of Peace – which over time was abbreviated to the Dove.

The Dove was built in neoclassical style and has a neo-baroque façade. The acoustics are characterized by a reverberation created by an adjustable floating ceiling.

 

De Amstelkerk

The Amstelchurch is one of the oldest churches of Amsterdam. It was built between 1668 and 1670, and was meant as a temporary church. Its design and execution were so plain that the people called it the 'preaching barn'.

Its cozy interior makes it the perfect place for intimate concerts. The acoustics of the wooden structure are especially suitable for music.

 

De Vondelkerk

When the plan to build a church near the Vondelpark was conceived in 1870, the people called upon the services of architect P.J.H. Cuypers. He put extra effort into the realization of it, as he looked directly upon the building site from his living room.

The church was decommissioned in 1977 and sold by the diocese for the price of one guilder (about 50 eurocents).

 

De Beurs van Berlage

There are many surprising and fun facts to find about Berlage’s Beurs. But what is truly most interesting is the architect’s cooperation with the poet Albert Verwey. Berlage asked him to outline a program for the interior decoration of the building. This program is based on two themes: Amsterdam as a major trading centre and the idea of a classless society where money is no object. The latter clearly prevails. Verwey’s poems form the base of every room’s design, and often refer to the function of the space.

The first texts you will discover are on the building’s clock tower. Beneath the clock is written: "Beidt Uw Tijd" (Wait for your time) and "Duur Uw Uur"(Your time is precious). Several other prominent artists were inspired by the poems of Verwey, which resulted in a wide range of works of art.

 

We believe that by practicing inner peace in these sacred places, we tap into a universal energy. Here we can go beyond religion and experience oneness.